artwork by Sinboy
by Jay NeSmith | part of the interview conducted by Michael Todd
Make no mistake: Digital Leather is one of the most out-there, one-of-a-kind acts out of Omaha right now. Originally from Arizona, the now-Omahan Shawn Foree, Digital Leather frontman, has a wild presence on stage and complements it with his brand of electro-psychedelic-infused garage punk.
Digital Leather heads out on the road soon with friends and former bandmate's drone-like hardcore project, Destruction Unit. The pair will kick off their tour with a performance at O'Leaver's this Friday. We had a chance to talk to Foree about Digital Leather's latest effort, Yes, Please. Thank You, and ask him what audience members should expect this Friday.
Hear Nebraska: What does the title Yes, Please. Thank You refer to?
Shawn Foree: The album is sort of a meditation on drugs, so it’s the attitude people have when they’re on drugs and they want more drugs. They just want more and more and more. They’ll take and take and take.
HN: Who designed the artwork?
SF: The same guy who did the album, Modern Problems. I’m going to have him do the art for the next few tapes because it’s representing a period for me. He goes by Sinboy.
HN: You also have another album coming, too?
SF: Yeah, I still need to put out one or two more releases and they’re just EP cassettes. Two more this year, then I'll take the best of everything I’ve done, sans Modern Problems, and compile it. Basically, I’m trying to release about five records in one.
I think one thing that makes this one (Yes, Please. Thank You) interesting is it follows after Sponge, except for the first song, it uses all live drums, which is a first for me. It’s a lot more raw than usual.
Usually when I record a song, I start off with drums. We just ran into our studio, made up a drum beat, then worked off them from there. We didn’t write the song together, though. I wanted more music to play live because the drum machine sounds stupid when we try to play it live.
HN: That's a lot of new material to release at once. Where has most of the inspiration for all of your newer stuff come from?
SF: Since I've moved here, I've learned to draw inspiration from anything and everything: friends, booze, weather, books, hangnails, bad breath, you name it. There are of course periods where I'm just drained and depressed, but I move past those quicker than ever now.
HN: Is this your first time on tour with Destruction Unit?
SF: I've toured with DU as a member of the band, a keyboard player. We toured the West Coast and Canada. At that point it was still a synthpunk act.
HN: What can people expect at these live shows? Is your live sound that much different from your records?
SF: DL's live sound has always differed from the records. It's always dirtier and faster. Sometimes it throws people off. This time around, we've slowed a few things down, but added a lot of pedals for the first time. They lend a spacey, eerie element to the set.